ShinyShiny snippets: UK Parliament closes down TikTok account

The UK Parliament has closed down its TikTok account after MPs raised concerns about the risk of data being passed to the Chinese government. The account has been locked, and content deleted, days after its launch. Senior MPs and peers had called for the account to be removed until TikTok gave “credible assurances” no data could be handed to China. TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which has denied it was controlled by the Chinese government. Relations between London and Beijing have been fraught in recent years, with tensions heightened by China’s sanctioning of several MPs last year. BBC

Elon Musk’s answer to Twitter’s lawsuit over his attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company will be made public by Friday evening at the latest, a judge ruled Wednesday. Attorneys for Musk wanted to file a public version of their answer and counterclaims in Delaware court Wednesday. But Twitter attorneys complained that they needed more time to review and potentially redact Musk’s sealed filing, saying it refers “extensively” to internal Twitter information and data given to Musk. AP News 

A van with technology that can automatically detect drivers holding a mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt is being trialled in the UK for the first time. National Highways are working with Warwickshire police to try out the “sensor test vehicle” on motorways and major A roads, and drivers who are caught may be prosecuted. The initial three-month trial will determine how the technology can be further deployed in future. The Guardian 

Almost six million households are struggling to afford essential communication services such as their mobile phone, broadband and landline as the cost-of-living crisis worsens, a consumer group has warned. Which? has called on the Government to cut VAT on household telecoms bills on the back of Ofcom data showing that an estimated 5.7 million households experienced problems such as having to reduce spending on other essentials, cancelling or changing their service or missing payments in the month of April. Yahoo!

When The Verge’s Richard Lawler reported that Google was rolling out its newly stylized version of Gmail for the web, I decided I wanted to take a look as well. Since my Gmail page hadn’t yet switched over, I clicked on the cog-like Settings icon in the upper-right corner of my page and then on the link labeled Try out the new Gmail view and refreshed my page. As Richard writes, the change isn’t radical. There is a new color scheme that I rather like and a few other interface tweaks. The main change, however, is the left-hand side panel — now, the two side panels….Google has added another side panel that gives you immediate access to several apps: Mail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet. The Verge 

Connected Kerb, an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure specialist, has announced that it has been selected by the New York City Department of Transportation and Newlab to deliver on-street EV charging as part of a flagship charging pilot project, ‘The DOT Studio’, in New York City. The project is intended to demonstrate how public access to EV charging can drive up EV ownership amongst the 50 per cent of New York City (NYC) residents who park their cars on the street. E&T


Chris Price